Beowulf Good Vs Evil Essay

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The epic poem Beowulf is filled with metaphoric possibilities when it comes to the relationship between “truly noble” (250) Beowulf and the “God-cursed brute” (121), Grendel. Written by an unknown Christian poet in the 8th century, it is no surprise that Beowulf explores the tension between good and evil in the first conflict presented to Beowulf, “the mightiest man on earth” (197). The hero cleanses Heorot, the heart of civilization, from the evil Grendel inflicts. Thus Beowulf is a type of Christ battling the sin Grendel perpetrates. The battle is an analogy for Christ’s love of humanity which is seen as Beowulf cleanses the sacred place of Heorot and honorably destroys Grendel and the evil he manifests. A place “meant to be a wonder of the…show more content…
With no hero residing over Denmark, “Grendel ruled in defiance of right, / one against all, until the greatest house / in the world stood empty, a deserted wallstead” (144-146), much like the world did when it was inhabited by evil and sin. Before the times of Christ, the world existed in the shadow of darkness and the society was impure, heaving chaos. In the case of Grendel, he is the darkness of the night, “haunting the marches, marauding round the heath / and the desolate fens” (103-104). Like the Devil, Grendel’s “powers of destruction were plain: / their wassail was over, they wept to heaven / and mourned under morning” (127-129). Grendel gluts off the misery of others, prowling through the night, preying on the souls of the weak paralleling the Devil, whom scripture warns “be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Grendel does just that. “Lurk[ing] and swoop[ing] in the long nights / on the misty moors” (161-162), Grendel prowls about as the mead hall yearns for a hero and…show more content…
Beowulf traveled “the swan’s road” (200) to the Danish lands and in a swift, gallant, and honorable battle he defeats Grendel “heal[ing] and reliev[ing] a huge distress” (829). Much like Jesus Christ “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalms 147:3), Beowulf replenishes peace to the great mead hall by defeating the “prowler of the dark” (86). Beowulf diminishes the evil just as Jesus purifies humanity’s soul and offers grace for a fresh start. With the destruction of Grendel, “the light of day / broke and kept brightening” (916-917) within the Danish Society. Beowulf bore light to the hall just as Jesus is “the light of the world: he that follows [Jesus] shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Both figures bring light back into society, peeling those away from the evils of darkness. In the case of Beowulf, he delivers the hall and its people from Grendel’s

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